Better support needed for dads as well as mums after difficult births

Severe and life-threatening complications in pregnancy can have a big impact on fathers as well as mothers.
That’s one of the key findings of work by Oxford University researchers who spoke to couples who had been through this, in compiling a new resource for the award-winning patient website
The new pages covering life-threatening conditions in childbirth and pregnancy have just been launched.
Other points that emerged from the interviews included the huge difference that little examples of thoughtful care from doctors and midwives could make to how couples coped when emergency care was needed around the time of the birth of their child.
Examples included an anaesthetist who stepped out of theatre to show the waiting father a photo of his new baby on an iPhone; staff who kept a diary of the newborn baby’s day in a neonatal unit that was in a different hospital to the mother; and a midwife who greeted a woman with major bleeding arriving in an ambulance with a monitor so she could hear her baby’s heartbeat and know nothing had happened to him.
Severe complications in labour and childbirth aren’t common. But perhaps because of this, there can be difficulties for couples in getting the support they might need or finding others that have gone through similar experiences. And for doctors and midwives who don’t see many such cases, they may not be aware of what follow-up care could help. Oxford University